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Sommelier Gillian Ballance

PlumpJack Restaurant
3127 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94123

Gillian Ballance Wine Tips

By Jim Clarke
March 2007

1. Our dessert menus in all of our restaurants feature a dessert wine pairing for each selection. This has increased our sales of dessert and fortified wines, by almost 60%!!!

2. Our wines by the glass change regularly, which keeps the staff enthusiastic about selling our by the glass selections.

3. Training is always a challenge – I try and list our wines in each category by weight, going from lightest to fullest in body. This gives the server a great starting point.

4. Offering tastes of the wines by the glass can help put the customer at ease with making their decision. It also builds the trust and relationship with the server.

5. If a guest is not satisfied with their selection, and we determine that it is not faulty, rather than take the bottle back immediately, we usually ask that they give it a few moments to open up. Sometimes that first sip can be awkward, especially if cocktails are being enjoyed prior – taking this small step has eliminated our return bottles by over 50%.

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